I have been thinking that math word problems are sorta kryptonite to LD peeps. First you have words that have to be in a very specific sequence you can't just get a general idea of what is going on, which is how I read. I read in paragraphs so when you are only given a paragraph it becomes very hard. Also word problems are trying to teach you to read word for word and try to trick you. When it is trying to trick normal kids it definatlly tricks me.

I find it interesting seeing this happen with kids I work with. I am trying to do all those tell tale things underline the not in the word problem. What is this problem really asking you. How do you solve this problem. What are the numbers you really need to worry about?

Also going into Kryptonite, my other kryptonite is really bright pieces of paper. I am always amazed how many people in student affairs use them. It is funny cause untill college it was never a big issue cause no one used that type of paper. I guess it makes things look fun. I like bright colors but wow does it make things spin and make me sorta dizy. What is your LD kryptonite?


  1. I don't think word problems are really meant to "trick" normal students. They're meant to simulate real life problems that can be solved with math. Problems like calculating how much of a tip to give at a restaurant or how much fabric you need for a project or whatever. In both of those cases you have more info there than you need and you have to figure out what will give you the answer you want.

    That said, actually experiencing problems in real life that can be solved with math and reading simulated problems are different things.

  2. I would say there are some that aren't and there are some that do. I think any question with the word not in them is usually a way to get students to make sure they read a problem. I think there are also good reason for word problems like telling one of my students if I borrow 8 bucks from your brother and repay him 5 how much is left.


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